World Famous Rubies
by Yuman Hussain
There are some amazing rubies which are world famous for their beauty, color, cut and clarity. A stone renowned for passion and power it has been remained favorite with royalty and dynasties since antiquity. The beauty of this stone had been extolled in several books, travelogues and memoirs of travelers, poets and writers.
Summary: There are some amazing rubies which are world famous for their beauty, color, cut and clarity. A stone renowned for passion and power it has been remained favorite with royalty and dynasties since antiquity. The beauty of this stone had been extolled in several books, travelogues and memoirs of travelers, poets and writers.
Do you know that rubies are most sought after jewel right from antiquity?
The royalty and wealthy classes had exquisite collection of rubies. There
are many references to these magnificent stones in Bible and ancient Indian
Sanskrit texts. The rarity and red brilliant color with fiery flashes have
attracted passion and love .It was the symbol of power for the mighty
rulers. Burma has continued to be famous for producing world class rubies
since antiquity. In ancient and medieval period the Mogok mines were
controlled by Burmese kings therefore all stones were part of royal
treasury. A giant ruby of 77 ct was discovered by Burma Ruby Mines Ltd in
1899.King Mindon Min sold one stone weighing more than 36 ct to western
traders in exchange of cash. However not much is known about the existence
of these stones except mention in the literature.
During the reign of King Thebaw in 1878- 1885 a beautiful stone weighing 100
ct was discovered at Mogok an area famous for many magnificent rubies. This
stone was presented to the King by the governor of the ruby mining district
as a mark of respect. King Thebaw believed to have stunning Burmese rubies
collection. There can be no doubt that all large stones were the property of
the state. Jean Baptiste Tavernier a 17th century traveler had written
extensively about some of the largest rubies in his famous book 'Travels'.
However in those times every red stone was considered ruby. So it is likely
that some of these stones could be spinel. It is interesting to know about
some of the exceptional rubies who guided the fate of rulers and dynasties
Stunning Star Rubies
Rosser Reeves Star Ruby
It is a finest and largest 138.7 carat star ruby
placed at Smithsonian Institution Washington D.C. This brilliant stone was
found at Sri Lankan mines. Named after Mr Rosser Reeves who donated it this
stone is clear almost translucent with six rayed star. In 1966 it was
insured for $150,000.
De Long star Ruby
It is a 100 carat oval cabochon displayed at American
Museum of Natural History New York. Martin Ehrmann sold this piece of beauty
to Edith Haggin De Long for $21,400.
Brilliant Burmese Rubies
Named after Major General Sir Herbert Benjamin it was 167
carat Burmese ruby donated by John Ruskin in 1887 to British Museum of
A 25 carat (43carat uncut) brilliant stone was found at the end
of World War I hence the name. This magnificent ruby was mined in 1919 from
Mogok mines. It had an irregular hexagonal shape with a flat apex. The color
was amazing perfect red as deep as pigeon's blood. A beautiful stone with
unblemished clarity it was purchased by Indian trader in Burma and cut in
Bombay into exquisite flawless appearance. This stone was bought and sold
several times over the years. However present location of this stone is
Anne of Brittany Ruby
A beautiful but irregular 105 carat stone is
displayed at Louvre Paris.
Maung Lin Ruby
It was one of the greatest Burmese Rubies discovered in Momeit in King Mindon Min's rule in 1853-78. A stunning 400 carat stone was
unsurpassed in beauty. The historical records say that the owner of the
stone broke the stone into two gifting one to the King Mindon Min and sent
the other half secretly to Calcutta. When King came to know about it he
ordered its return. The second stone was purchased at an enormous price and
returned to Burma. These stones were again recut with one stone with 98 ct
named Nga Mauk and the other stone weighed 74 ct came to be known as
Kallahpyan. These were taken to England when British annexed Upper Burma.
Alan Caplan's Ruby or the Mogok Ruby
It is really impossible to find out
about the finest ruby ever present. However this stone holds the distinction
of being finest with a highest per carat price. It is 15.97ct untreated
Burma beauty auctioned by Sotheby in 1986 .It was reportedly purchased by
Graff and later sold for a whopping sum to Sultan of Brunei.
J.N Forster Rubies
The two most important Burmese rubies in Europe were a
red cushion shape weighing 37 ct and drop shaped 47 ct stones. James N.
Forster of London later recut these stones into somewhat smaller pieces.
These stones traveled from Burma to England under tight military security
and it is widely believed that Burmese King under duress allowed there
Nga Boh ('Dragon Lord') Ruby
It is a 44 ct uncut ruby found at Bawbadan,
and 20 ct, when cut. It was one of the finest of its size ever found .It was
presented to King Tharawadi. This stone went missing during British conquest
of King Thebaw's palace.
Chhatrapati Manik Ruby
A magnificent Burmese oval cabocarbon with deep red
color, this stone has an oldest history dating back to almost 2000 years to
the reign of Vikramaditya King of Ujjain. He proclaimed himself as Chatrapati
a 'Supreme King' and upon advise of his astrologers put the stone in the
centre of his crown.
A representation of the gem said to be the Chhatrapati Manik Ruby. At left
is a view of the gem mounted in a diamond tiara.
This magnificent ruby then was passed to Traders and other rulers from the
descendents of the King Vikramaditya. The ruler of Golconda Tara Shah loved
the stone so much that he engraved his name on it and ordered a book of
poetry to be written extolling its virtues. Later when Mogul Emperor
Aurangzeb defeated Tana Shah he ordered to remove his name and put his name
instead. Aurangzeb later presented this stone to the bankers of Murshidabad
in recognition of their services to Mughal Empire. Later this stone was sold
in England and mounted on a diamond tiara.
Another fine Mogok ruby crystal it is displayed at Los Angeles
County Museum of Natural History. Weighing almost 196.1 ct it has flawless
One of the largest rubies was discovered at Thailand. A giant brilliant 150
ct stone was publicly displayed during gem fairs.
Several brilliant pieces of ruby stones are displayed in some of the world's
leading museums. The British Museum has on display a hexagonal prism of
10x7" weighing 34lb from North Carolina. Another specimen is 12x9x4 cm
weighing 105 lb. It is a single crystal piece.
Rubies have continued to hold fascination of the people. A rare stone it is
amazing to know about some of the brilliant pieces which have emerged in the
history of mankind generating feelings such as passion, love, envy, greed
and love. Ruby will remain have special place of honor among the lovers of
finest jewelry and gemstones.